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Angela Lansbury to Lead Benefit Reading of THE CHALK GARDEN This Summer

Angela Lansbury will appear in The Chalk Garden, after all!

The actress will head an all-star cast in the staged reading of Enid Bagnold's British drama The Chalk Garden, a benefit for The Acting Company, to be held for one night only, Monday, June 19, at 7 PM, at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.

After many younger years as a London society hostess, Mrs. Saint Maugham (Lansbury) fills her days tending her garden at her country estate. When she seeks a governess for her granddaughter, Laurel (whose habit of setting small fires is getting a bit out of hand) the child connects instantly with Miss Madrigal, an enigmatic woman who has come without any references. Who, exactly, is this Madrigal? With a talent for gardening and avoiding questions, she fascinates the equally inscrutable Laurel, who can never resist a mystery...especially if it might involve murder.

Written by Enid Bagnold and directed by Frank Dunlop, The Chalk Garden's complete cast will be announced shortly. Designing lights is Greg MacPherson, and Tim Boyce is designing sound.

The Acting Company's Executive Director Elisa Spencer-Kaplan says, "We are thrilled to bring The Chalk Garden to the New York stage for one very special night. It promises to be an unforgettable evening."

The performance will be followed by dinner with the cast at the historic Union Club, 101 East 69th Street. This portion of the evening is only available at certain ticket levels.

The benefit event comes on the heels of the Company's national repertory tour of Julius Caesar and the world premiere play X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation by Marcus Gardley, a pairing heralded by the New York Times as "a stroke of curatorial inspiration." The tour runs through Sunday, April 2nd, closing at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.

Founded in 1972 by John Houseman and Margot Harley from the first graduating class of Juilliard's Drama Division, The Acting Company brings live classical theater to Americans who might otherwise never get a chance to enjoy and learn from it. Its education programs reach students who have limited access to arts, education and live theater. The Acting Company has reached more 4 million people in 48 states and 10 countries, and developed the talents of more than 400 actors, including the young Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Rainn Wilson, Harriet Harris, Frances Conroy, Jesse L. Martin, Jeffrey Wright, David Ogden Stiers, David Schramm, Keith David and Hamish Linklater, all of whom began their careers on tour with The Acting Company.

Donor-level tickets are on sale now exclusively through The Acting Company by calling 212-258-3111. Donor tickets with priority seating without dinner are $500. Tickets with dinner start at $1,000.

The Kaye Playhouse box office will open April 19 for general ticket sales. Show-only tickets may be purchased exclusively through The Kaye online at or by phone, 212-772-4448. General tickets are priced from $95 to $350. For more information on The Acting Company, visit

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